Ushio Shinohara “Reckless Driving Meeting 2006/Exhibition of Muddy Slaying Monster Bikers”

Japanese pop artist Ushio Shinohara, or “Gyu-chan” as he is affectionately called, is famous for his “boxing” performance-art paintings (where he punches the canvas with boxing gloves soaked in paint).

poster for Ushio Shinohara

Ushio Shinohara "Reckless driving meeting 2006/Exhibition of muddy slaying monster bikers"

at Nanzuka
in the Shibuya area
This event has ended - (2006-09-20 - 2006-10-15)

poster for Ushio Shinohara

Ushio Shinohara "The Revenge of the Poisonous Frog"

at NADiff a/p/a/r/t
in the Ebisu, Daikanyama area
This event has ended - (2006-09-08 - 2006-10-15)

In Reviews by Lena Oishi 2006-10-06

a.jpgHe is also known for his crazy, colourful illustrations, disfigured motorbike-sculptures carefully shaped out of moulds of rubbish (cardboard, glass, toys etc), and being the first Japanese youngster to sport the Mohawk in an era of acute conservatism in the 1960s.

Being unfamiliar with Shinohara’s art and reputation beforehand, I found this exhibition very informative. Cramped in the tiny gallery is a selection of works that represent typical Gyu-chan style, sans the boxing paintings. However, you can experience the full effect of these boxing paintings in a video that is being screened in the Mixrooffice end of the gallery.

I recommend seeing this video first – especially if you are new to this artist, like me – to get an idea of his history, and his personality. Shinohara’s work no doubt stand on their own, but it is his infectious, energetic personality that infuses his art with that extra special glint. If you are into loud, cute and grotesque pop art, then this is your thing.

Drop by at Nadiff’s “The Revenge of the Poisonous Frog” exhibit (showing until Oct 15th) to see Shinohara’s small-scale, postcard illustrations if you feel inspired – I made the mistake of going to this minimal exhibit first, but it’s difficult to appreciate his small sketches without knowing his main work. Hurry to Nanzuka first!

Lena Oishi

Lena Oishi. Born in Japan in 1982, grew up in England and Australia. With a BA in Media and Communications and MA in Cinema Studies, she now lives in Tokyo as a freelance translator and occasional editor. Works include VICE Magazine, Japanese editorial supervision of "Metronome No. 11 - What Is To Be Done? Tokyo " (Seikosha, 2007), and translation for film and art festival catalogs. She can also interpret simultaneously if you give her enough candy. Lena likes making her eyeballs bleed after watching way too many films while eating ice cream in the dark. » See other writings

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